This exciting three-day-a-week course is ideal for those who are returning to education.

Many Access to Higher Education students win places on the UK’s most competitive degree courses including those at Leeds Arts University.

This course is for you whether you’re just starting out or looking for a new direction in life, and if you’re serious about a professional career in art and design.

We offer a supportive atmosphere in which to develop your skills and interests, and to build your confidence. Successfully completing the course will enable you to apply for art and design degree courses here or at any other higher education institution.

We’ll help you with your UCAS application and we offer lots of individual guidance as to which course and institution are right for you, plus support in putting together a strong portfolio of work as part of your application.

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course details

What You'll Study

The course includes critical thinking and creative skills development, practice based projects, portfolio-building, self-directed briefs, live briefs (competitions and community projects) and contextual studies in art and design (1960s onwards). You will also have the opportunity to explore a range of specialist art and design workshops including painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture and digital design. Each year we also organise a programme of educational visits to galleries, museums and sculpture parks.

Our Ideal Students

We welcome students who are returning to education, who are wishing to make a start with their career in the arts as well as those looking for a career change. Students should have some art and design experience but we welcome people from a range of backgrounds.

Entry Requirements

You will be asked to present some examples of your creative work at interview which demonstrates your skills. Applicants for this course are usually over the age of 19, however if you are 18 or under you must have already achieved GCSE Maths and English at grade 4/grade C. 

For full entry requirements please visit:

Where You'll Study

You’ll be based at the University’s Vernon Street site, with access to excellent facilities according to curriculum needs.

Where Next?

The majority of our students progress to degree or postgraduate level study, achieving places on degree courses of their choice, including those at Leeds Arts University. Some students elect to go directly into employment in the creative industries.

Open Days

We understand that leaving school and going to University is a big step. We aim to give you all the information you need to make the right decision.

Click here to find out more about our open days. 

Apply Now (UK/EU Applicants)

Please apply direct to the University for our Access to HE Diploma (Art & Design) via the application form on our portal.

If you need any assistance completing the form please contact the Admissions team at or call us on 0113 280 8000.

Apply Now (International Applicants)

International applicants (from outside the UK/EU) please click here for further information. 

1 Year
Study Mode
Full Time
Term Starts
Institution Name
Leeds Arts University
Validated By

Miranda Melbourne awarded Anthony Earnshaw Bursary 2020

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Leeds Arts University wins student choice award for Best University Facilities!

Leeds Arts University was announced as the winner of the Whatuni Student Choice Award for Best Facilities, taking the prize for the third time in six years. …

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"This course is for you if you're just starting out or looking for a new direction, and if you're serious about a career in art and design."
Adam Stone
Access to HE Diploma (Art & Design)